Citizen journalism plays one of the most important roles in huge events that happen in history. Citizen journalism captured WWI, WWII, The Civil War, 9/11, Sully landing the plane on the Hudson. Citizens play an active roll in collecting, reporting, and analyzing information. They inform the public about what has happened. Without citizen journalists, the public would have little information or pictures about current events.
Living in this new technological era, citizen journalists play an even bigger role than before. When Sully landed on the Hudson, a man was gazing off into the Hudson and saw all the passengers standing on the wings of the plane. He snapped a picture with his blackberry and tweeted it. He then sold it to The New York Times. It is now the picture that everyone sees when learning or reading about this event.
The name citizen journalism is exactly what it is. It is when citizens use tools and knowledge to produce journalism. Citizen journalism is produced by the public (the citizens). Citizens push journalism forward. It shapes the way we consume our news.
The difference between citizen journalism and observation is the use of technology. Of course, citizens back in the day were documenting events and sharing them with the public. Technology allows average people take their own photos, record their own videos, and tell a story through blogs and tweets. This also speeds up the process of how soon the public finds out information. Citizen journalism can happen faster than news organizations can gather up the information to share with the public via television or newspaper.
Some of the major citizen journalism events include September 11th, Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004, London Tube bombings in 2005, Virginia Tech massacre in 2007, the Mumbai attacks in 2008, and the Hudson River plane crash in 2009.
The theory on citizen journalism started with a freelance journalist named Mark Glaser who writes about new media issues. ”
“The idea behind citizen journalism is that people without professional journalism training can use the tools of modern technology and the global distribution of the Internet to create, augment or fact-check media on their own or in collaboration with others,” Glaser said.
Without citizen journalism, the way we would get our news would be a lot different. We wouldn’t be as informed as quickly. Also, our news wouldn’t be as creditable.